THE Government has introduced a new initiative that should see all male Cabinet ministers undergoing circumcision under a new programme that seeks to promote this mode of fighting the spread of HIV and Aids.
Members of Parliament and councillors are also earmarked for the second round of the exercise.
According to research, male circumcision is one of the ways of preventing the spread of the virus with reports indicating that the reduction can be up to 60 percent.
Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe told our Bulawayo Bureau in an interview that the decision was in line with strategies Government was implementing to curb the spread of HIV and Aids. DPM Khupe is also the leader of Government’s social cluster, which seeks, among other things, to spearhead the revival of health institutions across the country.
“Research has shown that circumcised men are eight times less likely to contract HIV.
Therefore, as leaders in Government, we should lead by example so that when we cascade to the grassroots they understand the importance and benefits of the exercise,” she said.
“Our target is to have zero deaths emanating from HIV and Aids. We can only achieve that when the opinion leaders are setting the pace. People need to understand that HIV is there and no one should think that talking about male circumcision is taboo.”
She said as a way of ensuring that ministers understand the benefits of male circumcision, her office invited a South African health institution that demonstrated the exercise.
She said: “They thought we were joking when we started talking about circumcision. But at the end it was agreed that all the members (ministers) should go for the exercise if our aims of reducing the spread of HIV and Aids are to be translated into reality.”
The DPM also revealed that the initiative was even targeted at Members of Parliament as well as councillors.
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